The French are famous for their desserts, and living in Dubai, we are spoilt for choice with a wide variety of high-quality patisseries. One of my personal favorites has always been Dalloyau. With a deep-rooted French history dating back to 1682, Dalloyou was created for the bourgeoisie, the upper class of Paris who demanded a distinct quality and taste.
Dalloyau has always been one of my favorite spots for an indulgent sweet treat. I have frequented their branches in Deira City Centre, Mirdiff City Centre and Mall of the Emirates. However, I have only recently sat at Dalloyau for a complete meal. Our lunch at the Mirdiff City Centre branch last week proved to me that Dalloyau is far more than a patisserie for desserts.
We started off with a lineup of refreshing juices. My little one asked for a Lemon & Mint Mojito. Hubby went for Passion, a rather tropical mocktail featuring fresh apricot, lime, vanilla and passionfruit. I had the Berry Blast, a berry delicious mix of strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, cranberry and orange juice (yes, they’ve really loaded this one with all the berries possible!). I think my drink was the best of the three.
Dalloyau does an amazing range of crepes. Afterall, crepes are French too! This Savory Crepe from their starters section is stuffed with finely minced chicken and mushrooms, and is made deliciously decadent with the addition of Gruyere cheese. The crepe sits on a creamy puddle of Parmesan cream accentuated with lemon zest, and is garnished with a sprig of thyme.
One of my favorites from our starters round was the Dalloyau Prawn Mango Salad. Featuring plump, juicy prawns marinated in a special lemon-garlic marinade, the salad is a toss up of bite-sized cubes of sweet mango, cherry tomatoes, smoked bell pepper, baby leaves and a drizzle of lemon dressing.
I loved the combination of the sweet mango with the prawns; so refreshingly tropical! I can eat this bowlful all on my own, and it sure would make for a quick and healthy lunch meal.
If you are looking for a more wholesome, moreish starter, Dalloyau’s Slow Cooked Veal is an excellent choice. You can sniff the aromatic truffle oil as soon as this wee pot hits the table! Topped with a creamy potato mash, the pot is filled with absolutely delicious slow cooked veal that has been finely hand-sliced and cooked with onions.
Hubby asked for a classic, the French Onion Soup. The staff tell us it has been removed from the menu, but the very talented chef at Dalloyau Mirdiff City Centre obliged and whipped together an absolute treat! This soup was beyond phenomenal. The broth is a beautifully deep chocolate brown, and you can taste the beauty of caramelized onion with every cheese-infused spoonful. I really do hope they bring this bowl of magic back on the menu!
Moving on to our main-course, I ordered for the Dalloyau Steak Sandwich. Featuring soft, freshly baked sour dough bread stuffed with rib-eye and striploin beef, caramelized onions and mushrooms, and scented with truffle oil, this mighty sandwich sure is a meaty bite! It is served with a green salad on the side, and a generously large pile of finely cut potato fries. These fries add that much needed crunch to the meal.
Hubby, being the very predictive carnivore that he is, ordered for Dalloyau’s Angus Beef Fillet. Cooked a perfect medium-rare, this meaty 400 gram serving comes with a sinfully decadent Bearnaise sauce, roasted baby potatoes, and a few sprigs of asparagus.
And now we move on to my favorite section of the meal… desserts! At Dalloyau, we really were spoilt for choice. Which one of these beauties do I go for today?
I went for a Dalloyau classic; the Opera Cake. Very few restaurants can claim a dessert that has a historic backing of its own.
“This cake was invented in 1955 by Cyriaque Gavillon from Dalloyau. He wanted to create a new cake shape with visible layers and for which only one bite would give the whole cake’s taste. It is his spouse, Andrée Gavillon, that named it “Opéra” in tribute to the auditorium of the Palais Garnier. The Opera is a rectangular cake composed of three thin layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup alternating between layers of coffee butter cream and chocolate glaze topped with ganache.” – Wikipedia.
Since then, many French patisseries make their own versions of the Opera cake, but if you want a slice of the original creation, Dalloyau continues to preserve history with this absolutely delicious treat.
Another classic at Dalloyau is the pastry by the same name, The Dalloyau dessert is a creamy mess of hazelnut cream and soft sponge, and was created way back in 1949. A must-try for all hazelnut lovers.
One of my favorites at Dalloyau is their Travelling Orange Cake. Coated with a decadent milk chocolate ganache, these light, fluffy layers of sponge cake feature a tangy-sweet orange filling that adds a hint of zing which compliments the rich chocolate coating beautifully well.
And how can you dine at a French restaurant and not have macaroons?! At Dalloyau they have one of the widest range of macaroon flavors you can ask for.
My little Macaroon Monster went crazy happy with her pretty little plateful of Rose Blackcurrant Macaroons.
Absolutely stuffed with the elaborate lunch spread, we had to sit back for a wee while longer and ended our meal with frothy cups of Cappuccino.
There are very few restaurants that survive a generation or two. Dalloyau has been around since 1682! Given their gastronomic spread, it is of no surprise why the French love Dalloyau so much. Best of all, the price range here is very affordable and you get fine-dining worthy food… and don’t even get me started about the desserts!
In Dubai, we have Dalloyau branches in Deira City Centre, Mirdiff City Centre and Mall of the Emirates. We dined at the one at Mirdiff. Do give them a visit when you’re at the mall next time!
I leave you with a little history on Dalloyau courtesy Wikipedia:
Who was Dalloyau? A Brief History
Charles Dalloyau was working under the Prince of Condé, but during a reception in 1682, Louis XIV happened to taste his fine breads and took him under his wing.
Over four generations, the Dalloyau brothers worked at the Court and became part of the elite wearing the very prestigious title of “Officier de bouche”, the highest French gastronomy distinction at the time. With this under their belt, the Dalloyau brothers and sons were ennobled and could wear their sword in front of the King. Thanks to this highly prized title, they attended the King’s meals, and were invited to official ceremonies and to participate in culinary and gastronomic researches.
With the advent of the French Revolution, the foresighted Jean-Baptiste Dalloyau sensed a change in dining trends. A descendant of Charles, Jean-Baptiste Dalloyau continued the story of the Dalloyau dynasty, and founded the “Dalloyau, house of gastronomy” in 1892.
Jean-Baptiste Dalloyau associated all activities linked to the art of well-eating, and targeted emergent bourgeoisie with cooked meals that were ideal for having parties at home, just like aristocrats used to do at the time. Jean-Baptiste Dalloyau settled in Paris, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the current address of Dalloyau’s signature store in Paris.